News is what happens in the world that is new and significant. It is what people want to read about in newspapers and on TV. It includes a variety of topics, from politics and crime to weather and sports. News also covers the cultural and social aspects of life, such as music and movies.
News articles are designed to capture and hold the attention of the reader, or audience. These articles are often based on facts that are well researched and documented. However, a journalist must be sure not to slant or bias the facts, as this may lead to a lack of credibility.
There are many factors that determine if an event or situation is newsworthy. Some of these include: timeliness – events that happened recently or are still happening. Timeliness is important because it makes the news interesting and relevant.
impact – an event or situation that affects a large number of people. For example, a natural disaster or an economic crisis that affects the lives of millions of people will likely make the news.
drama – an event or situation that is exciting or has a high level of tension. This is an important element because it gives the news story some depth and allows readers to empathise with the situation. For example, a bank robbery will be reported in the news if there are clear good and bad characters involved.
controversies – things that generate interest because of their conflict, arguments, charges and counter-charges. This is an important characteristic because people like to be informed about controversial situations.
prominence – stories concerning famous or influential people, especially when they are controversial or unusual. People are fascinated by the lives of celebrities, and this can make a story newsworthy.
accuracy – the truthfulness and fairness of a piece of news, as well as its thorough treatment of opposing viewpoints. This is an important quality because it ensures that the audience is receiving a full and complete picture of a topic, allowing them to form their own opinions.
In addition to the above characteristics, a news story should be presented in a way that is appealing to the audience. This can be achieved through a variety of techniques, such as using a catchy headline and appealing visuals. It is also important to provide accurate information in a manner that is easy to understand, and to avoid overstating or exaggerating facts.
The following LAMPLit section explores each of the above characteristics in more detail. Each section includes a short list of references to turn to for more information. For instance, a section on the importance of timeliness will refer readers to a series of studies that have examined this issue in more detail (see below). As well as looking at the various types of news articles, this section provides an overview of how they are produced. Finally, it explores the relationship between audience demand and how journalists select and disseminate news items.